GUWAHATI, April 16 � Security presence along the Assam-Bangladesh border will be augmented after the elections in West Bengal to improve border management, while, the joint survey of the disputed areas along the international border by surveyors of both the countries resumed recently to settle the disputes permanently.
Highly-placed sources in the Border Security Force (BSF) told The Assam Tribune that the decision to increase the strength of the BSF along the international border has already been taken, but the process of deployment of additional forces would take some time as troops have been engaged in assisting the civil administration in maintaining law and order in the elections.
Sources said that at present, three battalions of the BSF have been deployed in Dhubri sector of the international border, which has 134 kilometres of international border including 49.5 kilometres of riverine border. As the riverine border is always considered most vulnerable as installation of any physical barrier is not possible in the area, the new battalion would be used mainly for augmenting security along the riverine border. Sources revealed that as the troops of the BSF are now on election duty in West Bengal, the new battalion would be deployed as soon as the elections in that state are over.
BSF sources said that border management in the Tura sector covering South and West Garo Hills improved considerably after deployment of one additional battalion last year. The area has 206 kilometres of international border with Bangladesh and at present five battalions of the border guarding force have been deployed to guard the international border in the area. Sources revealed that the Shillong sector of the international border covering West and East Khasi Hills and Jayantiya Hills has 237 kilometres of international border and four battalions of BSF are deployed in the area.
Meanwhile, the joint survey of the adverse possession areas, which was suspended in January this year because of non-cooperation by the Bangladesh Rifles personnel in some parts, resumed on April 5 and if the process can be completed without any major hitch this time, there is possibility of permanent solution to the problem.
Though the primary responsibility of the BSF is to guard the international border, troops of the force are often engaged in law-and-order duties and in the recently concluded polls in the state, 110 companies of the BSF were deployed. Forces were brought from Jammu and Kashmir and some forces were also withdrawn from the border to be engaged in election duties.
After the elections in Assam, the additional BSF personnel brought in to Assam have been sent to West Bengal for election duties.